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Linux Gazette: Optimizing GCC

Mar 04, 2003, 07:00 (23 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Justin Piszcz)

[ Thanks to Justin Piszcz for this link. ]

"I have a Pentium 3 866MHZ CPU. After reading the freshmeat article on optimizing GCC a few days ago, it got me thinking. So I posed the following question: How much faster would gcc compile the kernel if gcc itself was optimized? I chose to benchmark kernel compilation times, because I think it is a good benchmark, and many other people also use it to benchmark system performance. Also, at one point or another, most Linux users will have to take the step and compile the kernel, so I thought I'd benchmark something that is useful and something that people have a general idea of how long it takes to compile without optimizations. So my test is comprised of the following:

  1. "Run 10 kernel compilations and calculate the average time.
    • Regular GCC build.
    • Optimized GCC build.
  2. "The kernel in question is the latest stable Linux kernel.
    • At this time, 2.4.20 remains the latest stable Linux kernel.
  3. "The GCC used with this test is the latest stable gcc.
    • At this time, 3.2.2 remains the lastest stable gcc.

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